The Responsibility-Index

Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs has posted an excellent article on how every good scripture-driven sermon produces what he has coined as the ‘responsibility-index’. Here is an excerpt:

Perhaps I’ll develop this further another time, but the faithful sermon we hear changes our status before God. Of course, I’m not talking about justification, but about accountability. The pan-Biblical principle is: greater privilege = greater responsibility. In this particular connection, we certainly see it in Jesus’ words: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22).

So let’s say you are in a church that teaches the Word of God — which you should be. As you listen to the Word faithfully preached, something is happening to you. This is true whether you feel it or not, whether your behavior changes or not. Something is happening. What is happening?

What is happening is this: your responsibility-index is rising.

Click HERE to read the rest of the article.

These are very convicting thoughts. I should examine myself after every good message to see if I am actively seeking to apply the godly wisdom the Lord’s servant has brought to my table. Will I partake of the meat and drink laid before me for my own spiritual health? If I do not, I am creating a gap between my responsibility-index and my obedience-index. The wider the gap, the worse my spiritual health becomes. Honestly, every time I read the scriptures in my personal devotion time or post an article about any biblical truths I have recently studied, my responsibility-index steadily ascends to greater heights.

Excuse me a moment while I swallow that lump rising in my throat.

This is a doctrine I have realized in the past, but Dan has dredged it up from a long stay at the bottom of my cluttered brain. Thanks! I need to meditate on this truth.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a co-worker some years back. She came into my office one morning to chit-chat and I steered the conversation toward the gospel. She didn’t attend church but had participated in a youth group in her high school years -yet she seemed unfamiliar with the gospel (big surprise!). At one point I made the statement, “You know, because I have told you all these things, you are now more accountable before God than you were 15 minutes ago. The more you hear the gospel the more accountable you become.” Her eyes bulged from her head and said, “I’m outta here!”. She spun on her heel and walked away.

It’s a hard truth to embrace, for both believers and unbelievers. Now that this issue has been brought to my attention once more, I feel that I must approach any teaching/preaching/study that I subject myself to with a little more fear and trembling as I work out my salvation before God. I will pray after I receive every nugget of biblical truth (by whatever means God uses) and ask him to give me more grace so I may walk in obedience – for God’s glory and my good. Maturing in true discipleship means keeping our obedience-index as close to level with our responsibility-index as possible.

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